Newcastle United have officially lost the services of highly-rated young defender and Tottenham Hotspur target Lewis Gibson. The budding centre-back finalised his proposed move to Everton on Thursday (27 July), signing a three-year deal at Goodison Park before joining up with David Unsworth's title-winning Under-23s.
Such a departure had been in the offing, with Gibson, one of the Toon's best young prospects who originally joined their academy from North East rivals Middlesbrough, having only one year left to run on an initial scholarship deal that could be cancelled without notice. He did not sign a professional contract after turning 17 on 19 July.
The Liverpool Echo reported last week that Everton had agreed a deal worth in excess of £6m ($7.8m) for Gibson and were hoping he would snub interest from Premier League rivals Tottenham and Southampton in favour of a switch to Merseyside.
The Toffees have now won the race for a player who featured for both Newcastle's Under-18 and reserve teams in 2016-17 before forming part of the England side that reached the final of the Under-17 European Championship in Croatia.
"Everton is a brilliant club and when the opportunity presented itself I wanted to be part of it," Gibson said after Everton confirmed his arrival. "The reputation has long been there that Everton brings through young players.
"You only have to look at the likes of Tom Davies, Kieran Dowell, Jonjoe Kenny and several others who are battling for first-team places to know this.
"I'm a player who is willing to put my body on the line, the kind of defender who likes to tackle and is not afraid. I'm excited to be part of things here and I want to continue developing as a player. This is where I want to be."
Neither club have confirmed the £6m fee and the cost of the transfer will be decided by a tribunal if it transpires that an agreement has not been reached.
The loss of such a talented prospect is unlikely to be well received by Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez during a summer window where rumblings of the Spaniard's frustrations over transfers have continued to bubble away beneath the surface.
Tottenham's lack of activity has been very well-documented, meanwhile. Gibson is the second young centre-back Mauricio Pochettino appears to have missed out on, with talks over a deal for Estudiantes defender Juan Foyth seemingly breaking down amid overtures from Paris Saint-Germain.